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This came from a friend who owns a restaurant in Colorado, however I recently found the same recipe on "The Kitchen" website, so, all I can say is... it's a great dish whoever the chef maybe. It is simple and quick. The key is to use a good fresh ravioli. Now The Kitchen website recommended, spinach, mushroom or cheese ravioli, but I have used the mushroom which is my favorite, and have also tried a 4 cheese which is very good. I have a local Italian market that sells wonderful fresh ravioli, but Buitoni brand, also sells fresh ravioli which can be found at most major grocery stores. Butoni has a great variety of cheese, 4 cheeses, mushroom, spinach and chicken, even a whole wheat cheese variety which is very good with this. Also, Whole Foods carries a variety of fresh pasta as well. But there are many brands available these day, so just use your favorite. Serve with an Arugula salad with shallots and a honey balsamic vinaigrette and a crusty toasted baguette.
- 2 (9 ounce) packagesfresh ravioli (I recommend mushroom or cheese)
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 cup pitted dates, light chop
- 1⁄2 cup toasted walnuts
- 6 -8 slices pancetta, cut in thin strips (I admit I have never measured this, I just go to my local grocery store deli and ask them slices of )
- 4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Pasta -- Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil and cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Ravioli doesn't take too long, so make sure you have all your other ingredients ready.
- Walnuts -- In a large dry saute pan (we are using a large pan because we will make the sauce in this same pan, and then add the ravioli once cooked also to the pan, so we need something fairly large), heat to medium and add in the walnuts. Cook 2-3 minutes just until you start to smell the nuts and they start to get golden brown. Keep an eye on them, they go quickly. You just want to lightly toast them. Once they are done, just put on a small plate off to the side while you make the sauce.
- Sauce -- In that same pan, add 1/2 the olive oil and bring up to medium heat and add the pancetta and cook 2-3 minutes (it won't take long as it is thin sliced). Then add in the garlic and a pinch of salt and cook another minute. Toss in the cranberries, dates and cook until heated through.
- Finishing -- Drain the ravioli well and add right to the pan with the pancetta and fruit. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry, and cook just until the ravioli is well coated with the sauce. Toss in the walnuts, goat cheese, chives and pepper. Salt is optional (go easy because the pancetta and the goat cheese are both salty).
- Serve -- Plate on a large family style platter and drizzle with the extra olive oil. Serve with a arugula salad and a honey balsamic vinaigrette and maybe a crunchy toasted baguette. ENJOY!